Saturday, March 19

Cookie Unit for Preschool

Cookies are a ton of fun.  And in December we seem to make a different kind every week.  This is a great unit to get your kiddo into the kitchen with you.  It's only fitting that the activities in this unit require the consumption of lots and lots of cookies, but you can use whatever you like when an activity calls for a reward.

Cookie Unit for Preschool

 Psalm 119:103  "How sweet are your words to my taste.  Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth." Create hand motions for the keywords:  Sweet=use your pointer fingers to draw your mouth smiling a big, sweet smile.  Words =Shape your hand like it's operating a puppet and make it talk. Taste = Stick your tongue out and point to it while you say the word.  This makes them laugh every time.  Yes, sweeter = Nod and then do the motion for "sweet" again. Honey = use your pointer fingers and buzz them around like bees in front of you.  Mouth = close your mouth and point to it.

Letters: C (cookie) +  O (oatmeal) + Z(zoo) + J (Jesus)
Use 9x15 construction paper.  Cut out a large chunky letter.  Your child will be decorating each letter with things that start with it.  After he does this, I attach it to a different colored full size sheet of construction paper, and write the capital letter, the small letter and the word underneath it.
C = Cut out cookie pictures from magazines and glue them on.
O = Use white glue to cover the letter O and let your child sprinkle on some oats.
Z = Animal cookies work great for this activity.  Glue them on a big letter zoo with white glue.
J = We glued on candy canes, turned upside down to represent Jesus (and read the Legend of the Candy Cane). But you could use nativity stickers or a rubber stamp creche image if you have them. 

Books and Activities:
1.  Cookie Trail.  Use anything to create a trail through your house to find a cookie at the end.  I have a whole hoard of miniature erasers, but you can use beans or Legos or whatever you want.  Just wind the "crumb" trail around the furniture, under a table, or up and down stairs to make it fun. Have them collect all the crumbs as they go and let them have the cookie at the end.

2.  Sniff Around.  Hide a real or a fake cookie from your child.  Have him try to find it by asking you as many as twenty questions requiring "yes" or "no" answers.  

3.  Make the Big Letter C.

4. '10 Little Cookies' Flannel Board Song.  Cut out 10 brown flannel circles.  As you sing the song, you can let your child either put them on the flannel board, or put them on ahead of time and let your child pull them off.  
(To the tune of 10 Little Indians)  
1 little, 2 little, 3 little cookies. 
4 little, 5 little, 6 little cookies. 
7 little, 8 little, 9 little cookies.  
10 little cookies with milk (and pretend to glug down a glass of milk).

Similarly, if you use glue to make your flannel cookies sparkly you can do this rhyme:
Ten little cookies in a bakery shop,
Shining bring with the sugar on top.
Along come (Name) w/ a nickel to pay,
He buys a cookie and takes it away.
Nine little cookies...

5.  Cookie Mobile.  Cut out a big cookie shape out of brown construction paper.  Provide tiny black triangle shapes for your child to glue onto their "chocolate chip cookie."  OR let them use a hole puncher all over the cookie to let the light through.  Write their memory verse on the back of the cookie and hang it by a length of string from the ceiling.  

6.  Ding Dong! Game.  You'll need to make some playing cards by drawing six cookie shapes so that you fill a piece of white cardstock.  Do it again on another piece of cardstock.  Now, you'll draw a chocolate chip on one cookie.   Draw two chocolate chips on the next cookie.  Keep adding a chocolate chip to each cookie as you draw until you have a cookie with 10 chocolate chips on it.  Leave one cookie blank and on the last cookie write DING DONG!  You'll need two sets of these cards, so make a copy of what you've just made and cut them all out.  You can discard on of the Ding Dong cards as you only need one.

Play the game like you'd play Old Maid.  Deal out all the cards.  Lay down any matched pairs you have.  In turn, each player draws a card from any opponent, trying to avoid the "Ding Dong" cookie.  If you draw a card that matches on of yours, lay down the matched cards.  Then, the turn passes to the next player.  Play continues until a player gets rid of all of his cards.  

7.  Cookie Division.  You can use the cookie cards from Ding Dong! to practice division.  Use a dozen cookies and figure out how many different ways you can evenly divide them.  Add more cookies and figure out how many ways you can evenly divide two dozen.  

8.  Make the Big Letter O.

9.  Cookie Gifts.  It was nice of the Grandmother to bring over a gift of cookies in this story.  Collect a couple empty Pringles cans and clean them out.  Cover the outside of the can with white or colored paper and let your child decorate it.  Then, help your child make a batch of cookies, sizing them to fit in the canisters.  Stack the cooled cookies in the canisters and give them as gifts.   

10.  Story Sequencing.  Make up some sequence cards that go with this book.  On blank 3x5 card draw draw one of each item:  a cookie, a glass of milk, a straw, a napkin, a mirror, a story book, a pen, a piece of notebook paper, crayon, scissors, broom, matchbox bed, and scotch tape.  Use clip art or let your child help with the drawings.  Then have your child retell the story by only looking at the cards.  Similarly, you can mix the cards up and let them put them back in the order of the story.

11.  Bake Cookies.  If you haven't baked cookies yet, don't wait any longer.  Get in the kitchen and let your child help you measure and mix.

12.  What's Next?  Practice sequencing in real life.  Give your child an instruction.  Let them follow it.  Then give them the same instruction and add on one more.  Do it again.  Generally, this age can follow up to four instructions fairly well.  Make it as difficult as you think your child can manage without frustrating them.  Make the instructions fun, physical acts and this should be a favorite skill building game.

13.  Cookie Cutter Matchup.  Trace 6-8 Christmas shaped cookie cutters and cut them out.  Lay the cut outs on a cookie sheet and set the cookie cutters nearby.  Let your child match up the cookie cutters to their correct shape.  You can also do this activity by cutting out play dough shapes with the cookie cutters instead of using paper cut outs.    

14.  Stuffed Gingerbread Man.  Find a clip art outline of a gingerbread man to use as a pattern.  You'll want your pattern to fill an entire sheet of brown construction paper.  Copy the pattern onto two piece of brown construction paper and cut them out.  Stack them  and use a hole puncher to make holes all the way around the Gingerbread man about an inch apart.  You'll also need a shoelace, some tissues and some construction paper scraps.  Let your child decorate the gingerbread man with the construction paper scraps. When dry, let them wad up the tissues and sew them inside using a simple stitch with the shoelace.  

15.  Gingerbread Man Chase.  Set up an obstacle course for your child.  This works best outdoors.  Prepare about five stations where your child is across, crawling under, skating over, running through, or hopping between something.  Have him start out by saying, "Run, run run as fast as you can!  You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"  Then let him take off and say outloud what he's doing as he goes.  "I jumped across the sidewalk, I crawled under the swing, I skated over the driveway, I ran through the garden, I hopped between the trees and I can run from YOU I can, I can!"  Then it's your turn!  (or another sibling).

16.  Make the Big Letter Z.  You could connect it with the animals in the story of the Gingerbread Man if you want to.  My boys were just excited to work with animal cookies.  

17.  Compare and Contrast.    The Gingerbread Man and the Gingerbread Boy are two very similar stories.  I used this opportunity to put them side by side and let my sons tell me what was similar and what was different about the two stories.  Then I let them make up their own version with different characters by asking,  "Who would your gingerbread man run away from?"

18.  Recycled Paper Ornaments.  Using your Christmas-shaped cookie cutters and an old phone book you can make some cute little homemade gifts for Grandparents.  Let your child rip pages out of the phone book.  (Ripping is a great skill they need to practice).  Then let them put the pages in a bowl of water, one at a time.  Squeeze them out and start wadding them up together.  Stuff them inside of a cookie cutter being sure to push the paper all the way to the edges.  Once these dry in a day or so, you can push the paper out in one solid shape, thread a needle with some pretty thread and push it through the top of the ornament, looping it around to make a hanger. 

19.   'Christmas Cookies' Flannel Board Song.  Make 10 cookies out of felt:  Green, red, yellow, round, square, white, striped, big, small and the last one a creation of your choice.  As you recite the poem, let your child remove the cookies from the flannel board.  

Ten Christmas cookies
All in a line.
(Name) ate the green one,
Then there were nine.

Nine Christmas cookies
Cooling by the gate.
(Name) ate the red one, 
Then there were eight.

Eight Christmas cookies
There never were eleven.
(Name) ate the yellow one,
Then there were seven.

Seven Christmas cookies
That were really fun to mix.
(Name) ate the round one,
Then there were six.

Six Christmas cookies
Guess who should arrive.
(Name) ate the square one,
Then there were five.  

Five Christmas cookies
Who could ask for more?
(Name) ate the white one,
Then there were four.

Four Christmas cookies
Smell good as can be.
(Name) ate the striped one,
Then there were three.

Three Christmas cookies
There are just a few.
(Name) ate the big one,
Then there were two.

Two Christmas cookies
Now we're almost done.
(Name) ate the small one,
Now there's only one.

One Christmas cookie
As yummy as can be.
(Name) at the last one,
Now there's none left for me.
-- Natalie Hill

20.  Gingerbread Man Chain.  You'll need a gingerbread man pattern to trace around.  Accordian ford long strips of construction paper to fit the size of your pattern.   Draw the pattern so that the arms go off the folded sides of the paper, so that when you cut the pattern out and unfold the paper, all the men are attached at the arms.   You can make your chain as long as you like.  On the gingerbread men you can write out the days of the week, months of the year, ordinal numbers, or just use it to countdown to Christmas.  

I'm sure you can find so many more activities to go along with these books by searching the web.  I bet this doesn't even scratch the surface.  Remember, too, that baking cookies with your child can help them practice all kinds of necessary skills and you can even practice the letter sounds with your child by baking letter-shaped sugar cookies.  Enjoy.

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